Addison Mitchell "Mitch" McConnell, Jr. (born February 20, 1942) is the senior United States Senator from Kentucky. A member of the Republican Party, he is the Minority Leader of the Senate. He is the longest serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky history.
McConnell has supported several gun control measures put forth by Democrats, including the 1991 Crime Bill S.1241 sponsored by then senator Joseph Biden, that instituted a national waiting period for handgun purchases as well as a federal ban on semi-automatic firearms. In 1998, McConnell voted for Barbara Boxer's Trigger Lock Amendment 3230, which required the purchase of a trigger lock with the sale of each handgun.
In addition to regulation of firearms, McConnell has also supported nuclear arms control initiatives such as the START I treaty, which he voted for in 1992, describing it as "an outstanding agreement".
McConnell is also well known for his opposition to campaign finance regulation on First Amendment grounds. He argues that regulations reduce participation in political campaigns and protect incumbents from competition. He spearheaded the movement against the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (known since 1995 as the "McCain–Feingold bill" and from 1989–1994 as the "Boren–Mitchell bill"), calling it "neither fair, nor balanced, nor constitutional." His opposition to the bill culminated in the 2003 Supreme Court case McConnell v. Federal Election Commission and the 2009 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
In August 2007 McConnell introduced the Protect America Act of 2007, which allowed the National Security Agency to monitor telephone and electronic communications of suspected terrorists inside and outside the United States without obtaining a warrant.